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Blood Ninja (Blood Ninja #1)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  1,525 Ratings  ·  145 Reviews
Is Taro, a fisherman's son, destined for greatness?

In the course of a day, Taro's entire life changes: His father is murdered before his eyes, and Taro is taken by a mysterious ninja on a perilous journey toward safety. Someone wants Taro dead, but who -- and why? With his best friend, Hiro, and their ninja guide Shusaku, Taro gets caught in the crossfire of a bitter confl
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published November 17th 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 17, 2009 Rebecca marked it as to-read
Ninja vampires. It was only a matter of time.
Jun 07, 2011 A&E rated it liked it
Young Taro is living the simple life of a fisherman with his best friend Hiro until he is assaulted by ninjas in his humble village.

Luckily he is saved by a mysterious ninja (hehehe) named Shusaku but before they are safe Taro is fatally wounded and must choose between death or becoming a myth - vampire.

Blood Ninja is an excellent book although I had a few issues with the end. It was like a Quentin Tarantino movie. But more on that later...

The characters feel real and the story is great if not a
Jul 08, 2010 Kristen rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 30, 2010 Karissa rated it really liked it
I got this book through the Amazon Vine program. I like vampires and ninjas so I thought it would be an interesting read. I was a little worried (based on the title and the cover) that this book would be too corny for me or a bit over the top. It was neither of those. It was very well-done and, if anything, a bit too devoid of any humor. It is also not a stand-alone book, which I didn't know.

Taro is a fisherman's son. At least that is what he is raised to believe. He is in for a rude surprise wh
Feb 11, 2011 Imani rated it did not like it
I wish this would have been translated badly over to english from japanese. Atleast that would give this book an excuse for the crappy dialogue that has now infected my brain.

I've never seen a book. That uses. So many. Periods. Throughout the dialogue. To explain. Things that could. Easily be. Explained without. The periods. At all. Thus we. Have sentences. Like this.
Except that they are badly written and much much more confusing. Did they really talk like that?
The characters reactions to....ev
Nov 23, 2009 Sherrie rated it it was ok
I read this as a review ARC for VOYA, it's one of the few books they assign to me that I would have never read otherwise. It features ninjas who are also vampires, so my first question naturally was: are ninja vampires the Reeses peanut butter cup of literature, two great tastes that taste great together? The answer is yes and no- there was a great emphasis on the ninja angle and the bloodsuckers sort of got short shrift. The book was okay, but if a vampire fan reads it expecting to get lots of ...more
Aug 03, 2011 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
Blood Ninja completely blew me away with its creativity. I mean ninjas and vampires... in the same novel. How awesome is that? But I quickly realized that Blood Ninja was also different for another reason.

As a reader and a lover of the Japanese culture, I almost instantly appreciated Lake's eye for detail. He infuses so much of the Japanese culture into Blood Ninja. From the lush setting to the epic tales, I was completely in heaven. However, for readers not familiar with Japanese culture, it is
May 17, 2010 Frezanda rated it liked it
Ninja is actually vampire!
This is quite an original story ( I never even find any manga that has similar idea). Because of that, I started reading with a jubilant mode, expecting to be entertained.
The execution is not as good as the idea.
First, I don't like the main character, Taro. Character wise, he was raw. He tends to be repetitive ( See second reason), a bit of an idiot ( but didn't know it), and somehow has the best of luck out of all the characters ( the fact that he's still int
Jul 25, 2010 Beth_Adele rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya
I was dubious at first, picking up this book already knowing it was another story cashing in on the vampire explosion. I was pleasantly surprised. The vampire part was, by all means, downplayed and I believe the story was better for it. It's like a buddy flick for boys in print. And it's not just for the boys, the world of Ninja represents for the girls too.
Though some of the characters seem less defined and not as full as some of the others, I am more inclined to believe it is because the char
Tabitha Olson
May 10, 2010 Tabitha Olson rated it it was ok
Shelves: recent-reviews
The first half of this book held my interest intensely. I could hardly put it down. But the second half slowed down significantly, and the main character started doing things that I had a hard time believing he would do (such as the incident with his bow). From that first incident, there were many more, and it seemed like a different set of characters had taken over the story. Also, the prose switched from engaging and interesting to dry and a bit verbose. As a result, I struggled through the se ...more
Dec 22, 2016 Neko~chan rated it liked it
Shelves: japan
To be honest, I was hovering between a 2 and a 3 on this one. I decided on a 3 since the ending was, well, quite a twist, and the last fifth or so of the book made up for the lack of movement in the first four-fifths.

My main issue with Blood Ninja was the writing. A little rough, a little unpolished at times, wrought with unnecessary descriptions that read like fanfiction. The writing improved a little as the book progessed -- although that may be because those descriptions ended up tying into
Camille Beaulieu
Jan 03, 2017 Camille Beaulieu rated it liked it
"The ninja looked up at her, faint hope in his one working eye. "You're allowing me to live?"
The girl paused. "Ah. My mistake."
The ninja tried to smiled.
Then she struck, hard and true, at his heart."


"Real adventure involved pain, loss, and blood. Sometimes all at once."


"Land that is rained on will harden. Suffering makes us strong."


"It's not really fair to fight with someone so much weaker. You should really tell your sister to go easy on him."
Feb 14, 2012 Sen rated it really liked it
General Summary: After his father is murdered and a ninja saves his life, Taro discovers the connection between ninjas and vampires and finds himself being dragged into a bitter conflict between the rival lords ruling Japan.

Edited to include: *MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

My Review:
I've shed tears for this book (July 11, 2011 9:43 AM)! It is one book in a long time that actually made me cry; tears spilled down rapidly as I try to control myself. *totally admires Shusaku* It is actually the death of Shu
Jul 19, 2010 BOOK BUTTERFLY rated it liked it
“Taro had thought that the bloodsucking demons were only storybook things, meant to scare children into obedience, not real killers that could step out of the shadows and kill peasants only three ri from his home. He felt a shiver run down his spine, and a sense that danger had landed in Shirahama, as large and ponderous as a beached whale. Then he shook away the feeling. No, he was safe there, with his best friend, and there was no such thing as kyuuketsuki-not outside the old folktales, anywa ...more
Arin M.
Jul 25, 2015 Arin M. rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Online Eccentric Librarian
Jul 24, 2014 Online Eccentric Librarian rated it did not like it

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More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

Keeping in mind that this is a YA book and therefore lacks the strong characterizations that would make the book more tedious to read for a younger audience - I still found the people to be paper thin. Upon finishing the last chapter, I had no idea in my head of what any of the characters look like, why they are motivated to do what they do, and honestly why I should be invested in them or care. The Japanese historical m
Deborah Takahashi
Mar 29, 2013 Deborah Takahashi rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen-thriller
Taro lives in a small village near Shimahara Bay in the Kanto Province of Japan and he dreams that one day he will become a samurai.When he was younger, he rescued his best friend, Hiro, from a shark attack and his parents took Hiro in. Even at a young age, Taro has all of the qualities of a good warrior, strong and true. Although he spends most of his time hunting in the forest, life for Taro is pretty quiet. However, his father had fallen very ill and he knows the inevitable is bound to happen ...more
Doh Young
Nov 01, 2015 Doh Young rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sydney Russell
Nov 27, 2016 Sydney Russell rated it it was amazing
Period 1
Blood Ninja
Nick Lage
Bingo Square: Around the World in 80 Pages
Adventure, Fantasy
384 Pages

Blood Ninja is about a peasant boy (Taro)destined to become something else. He is gifted in the arts of fighting and has the most loyal best friend named Hiro. His life may not be what he wanted it to be; however, it is an adventure waiting to be explored.

I don't want to give anything away because it was a book that I really enjoyed. It has lots of plot twists and the story line is great. I am k
Jun 12, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
SJH (A Dream of Books)
This is the perfect book for teenage boys looking for an exciting read with a gutsy hero and plenty of thrills and spills along the way. It appealed to me mainly because it's set in sixteenth century Japan, which is a country I always find endlessly fascinating and also because the concept for the story sounded so fantastic and amazing. The title itself, 'Blood Ninja' was hugely intriguing and had me reaching for the book nearly as soon as it arrived.

The story is about a young fisherman's son wh
Justin Culmo
Dec 21, 2015 Justin Culmo rated it it was amazing
In the novel, “Blood Ninja” by Nick Lake, the main characters are from a small village in Japan. Taro, who is the protagonist, also a young 15 year old boy who’s father is murdered in ill and cold blood. Taro is rescued by mysterious ninja who is later discovered as Shusaku. Lord Oda, who is the antagonist, has foreseen his end of Taro being the death of him. Oda sends out Samurai disciples to track down Taro and kill him but unfortunately they all fail because Taro had become a vampire so he’s ...more
Jan 20, 2012 Oscar rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-2012
In Blood Ninja, the protaganist Taro starts as a peasant that fishes for a living, living with his parents and his best friend, whom he saved at childhood upon thier first encounter. But it all changes his family is attacked by ninja. He, his friend, and his mother were saved, but his father was killed an Taro vowed vengence. His savior soon came his mentor, when he had changed Taro into a Vampire to save his life, revealing to him the life of a vampire, as ninja, for all ninjas were vampires. ...more
Apr 03, 2012 Melissa rated it really liked it
Shelves: series
3.5 stars

I really enjoyed this book once I got over the rather slow beginning when Taro stubbornly believed his ideals of samurai and honor were exact, only black and white. Luckily, as time wore on and with the help of friends and first-hand experience, Taro's world expanded and he was a much more likable protagonist.

And Shusaku, the ninja who saved Taro and later trained him, he was awesome. While Taro couldn't trust him at first, I knew that he was a great guy. He was a complex, secretive ch
May 11, 2012 Kulsuma rated it liked it
Blood Ninja by Nick Lake is full of action, twists and turns and suspense. When his father is murdered in front of him, Taro has to run for his life with the aid of his saviour, a ninja called Shusaku and accompanied by his friend, Hiro. However, the murderers; ninjas in the pay of Lord Oda, manage to run Taro through with a sword and all hope seems to be lost. But something unexpected happens. Shusaku bites him and transforms him into a vampire.

Travelling with the mysterious Shusaku, Taro worri
Aly (Fantasy4eva)

What stopped me in my tracks when I saw this was the cover. It is beautiful, really. Seriously. I mean, when I saw the black pages, hell, I was in love. The synopsis sounded promising, and so when I saw the word 'ninja's', I was in.

I had a great ride with this one. It was fast paced and engrossing and super entertaining filled with badass Ninja's and Samurai's. Taro - our protagonist, is brave and strong - with a wise, charming and ultra cool mentor to boot (A ninja. He quickly became my favo
Alaen Medrano
I read “Blood Ninja” by Nick Lake and I think that this was one of the best books I have read in my high school career. This book made me think about it’s story line even when I wasn’t reading it, and each chapter made me excited to read the next. The action in the book never truly sleeps. With a combination of ninjas and mythical creatures, I would recommend it to anyone who would love to read about fantasy and adventure.

Taro is a simple peasant boy living near the ocean in Japan. His father, a
Feb 18, 2010 Ken rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, finished-in-2010
Bloody fun, that's what. Just don't go spoiling things by looking for deep characters or poetic descriptions. No, no, no. This is Saturday matinee stuff, so break out the Jujubes and enjoy (especially the red ones). I promise you an impressive body count by page 20. And vampires. Does that surprise you? You mean, you didn't KNOW that all ninjas are vampires? Where've you been, anyway? All those superhuman, amazingly-agile, stunningly-strong moves don't come out of nowhere! It takes blood (like s ...more
Dec 22, 2011 Soluus rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: vampire fiction fans, action fans, Japanese history fans
This book is kind of like Harry Potter set in 16th century Japan.

Imagine it: Taro, a boy of phenomenal importance, looses his parents to an evil lord. Filled with anger and dreams of revenge he sets off on a quest to bring justice to the man responsible for the ruin of his life. He is whisked away by Shusaku, a mysterious ninja vampire, who teaches him valuable life lessons and trains him in the way of the ninja. Taro defeats the evil lord---or so he thinks. Things are about to get much worse...
Anna Porredon
Nov 03, 2016 Anna Porredon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vampires, japan
"Vampires are faster than ordinary men, stronger and more agile. And have you ever heard of a ninja doing his work by day? Never. They operate only by night - silent, stealthy, deadly. It makes perfect sense that ninjas should be vampires."

I didn't expect so much of this book. Ninja vampires? It seemed like a joke, but nevertheless I wanted to read it because I like ninjas, and I like vampires. It turned out that it makes perfect sense that all ninjas are vampires! This is a book that you can't
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My name is Nick and I write and edit books for young adults. My first YA novel IN DARKNESS, was published by Bloomsbury in 2012 and won the Michael L Printz Award for Excellence in YA Literature. I also wrote a book called HOSTAGE THREE about a girl kidnapped by Somali pirates.

THERE WILL BE LIES is coming in January 15 and is about a girl who learns that everything she knows is a lie. To say it's
More about Nick Lake...

Other Books in the Series

Blood Ninja (3 books)
  • The Revenge of Lord Oda (Blood Ninja, #2)
  • The Betrayal of the Living (Blood Ninja, #3)

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